Level 7

Study online for a degree in counselling

Study counselling with MIT and you'll learn how to make a meaningful difference in people's lives and your community.
Due to high demand, we are unable to take any more applications for July 2024.
You may also be interested in our July intake for the Bachelor of Applied Social Work.

Programme highlights

Do friends and family turn to you for help?

Turn your passion for supporting the people you care about into a rewarding career as a counsellor.

Study counselling with MIT and you'll learn how to make a meaningful difference in people's lives and your community.

It doesn't matter if you're coming straight from school, changing careers or returning to the workforce, you can study our Bachelor of Applied Counselling (Level 7).

This programme is offered via a blended delivery model which is made up of online learning, compulsory week-long workshop attendance and a practicum component.

To find out more about what practicum entails for both our learners and placement providers, click here.

If you are Māori or Pasifika, find out how you could be supported on your MIT journey with Te Ara Oranga.

IT requirements

To complete this degree you will need to have access to a computer and the internet to retrieve course materials, undertake assessments and to participate in the courses online activities.

Please note: Although the Government vaccine mandate for health and disability workers ended on 11:59pm 26 September 2022, some employers can still require workers to be vaccinated due to their responsibilities under the Health and Safety at Work Act. Placement is a compulsory component of MIT’s healthcare programmes. To go on placement in this sector, students will need to be fully vaccinated and provide proof of vaccination to MIT. Students that hold a medical exemption that prevents them from being vaccinated are permitted to work in the healthcare sector, but will have limited placement opportunities in that sector. Students that are not vaccinated, or that do not wish to share their vaccination status with MIT, may not be able to go on placement in the healthcare sector. If you hold a medical exemption, or if you are unable or unwilling to provide proof of vaccination to MIT, your placement opportunities will accordingly be limited and MIT cannot guarantee availability with placement providers.  If this applies to you, we encourage you to contact us to discuss your options.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

All applicants must provide two character references attesting the candidate’s suitability for working as a counsellor; and

All applicants are required to declare whether they have been convicted of, or are being prosecuted for, a criminal offence. The Police Vetting Process will reveal all criminal convictions.

Students will be advised of the following:

Please be aware that if you are going to be working with children, in certain circumstances some specified offences are not permitted, pursuant to the Vulnerable Children Act 2014. We recommend that you fully disclose all convictions to MIT prior to enrolment, so that we can discuss the potential implications on your eligibility to participate fully in your course of studies, including the practicum and your likely eligibility/suitability for employment once you graduate; and

Applicants may be required to provide a health declaration that they are emotionally, mentally and physically capable of undertaking the demands of the counselling programme as required in the New Zealand Association of Counsellors (NZAC) Code of Ethics (revised 2016 ) (see http://www.nzac.org.nz/code_of_ethics.cfm). Further reports may be requested with the consent of the Applicant.

Applicants must meet the following criteria for admission into the programme
  • NCEA Level 3 University Entrance or equivalent:
    • Three subjects - at Level 3, made up of:
      • 14 credits each, from three approved subjects;
      • Literacy - 10 credits at Level 2 or above, made up of:
        • 5 Credits in reading;
        • 5 credits in writing
      • Numeracy - 10 credits at Level 1 or above, made up of;
        • Achievement standards - specified achievement standards available through a range of subjects; or
        • Unit standards - package of three numeracy unit standards (26623, 26626, 26627 - all three required)


    • Successfully completed a minimum of 60 credits at level 4 in the areas of Social Science, Health Sciences or Education e.g. New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing Level 4 (Strands in Social Services, Mental Health and Addiction Support, Community Health Work).

Applicants, 20 years of ages and over ideally will meet the minimum requirements. Applicants who do not meet the minimum requirement, but feel that they have the skills or experience to be successful in this.

English language entry requirements

Applicants must have sufficient competence in the English language to undertake this programme which is taught and assessed in English.

Any Applicant whose first language is not English may be required to provide evidence of their English language competency as follows:

Have English language competence to undertake this programme which is taught and assessed in English. Any applicant whose first language is not English will be required to provide evidence of an-overall IELTS (Academic) band score of 6.5 (with no score below 6.5) or equivalent achieved within the preceding 2 years.

This will be demonstrated by meeting the current NZQA requirements.  For the minimum English language requirements refer to the following website http://www.nzqa.govt.nz/about-us/our-role/legislation/nzqa-rules/nzqf-related-rules/programme-approval-and-accreditation/app-2/the-table/ and http://www.nzqa.govt.nz/about-us/our-role/legislation/nzqa-rules/nzqf-related-rules/programme-approval-and-accreditation/8/18/

Regulatory requirements

Not applicable.


In accordance with NZAC's criteria for the selection of counselling personnel, all applicants will be interviewed to determine personal, academic and professional readiness to study professional counselling.

Special & discretionary admission

Any ākonga who is 20 years of age or older and has not reached the general admission requirements for their intended programme is eligible for Special Admission. Te Pūkenga works with the ākonga to ensure they are prepared for their intended programme. Any ākonga who is not yet 20 years of age and has not reached the general admission requirements for their intended programme may be eligible for Discretionary Admission. In assessing whether to grant Discretionary Admission, the delegated authority focuses on the applicant’s level of preparedness for their intended programme.

Give yourself credit with Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

Did you know you can use the knowledge and experience you already have to your advantage?

Your previous work experience and on-the-job skills, volunteering, professional development, and other providers’ qualifications can be recognised as prior learning, matched against credits in our courses, and put towards your qualification – potentially saving you money and possibly helping you to complete your qualification faster Learn more.

Programme structure

Programme structure

You will need to complete the below 21 courses (360 credits):

Level 5

661.509 Whakatō: Foundations of Te Tiriti ō Waitangi in Practice (15 credits)

As Counsellor educators, we are committed to the advancement of ‘indigenous & bicultural professional practice contextualised within Aotearoa New Zealand.  You will demonstrate your understanding of Te Tiriti o Waitangi and its application to the counselling sector in this introductory course.

752.571 Professional Counselling Practice (15 credits)

Introduces you to self-reflective practice and prepares you for practicum in level 6.  While studying this course, you will have to consider where you would like to do your practicum placement that fits in with your life and work commitments. This will need to be approved by the practicum co-ordinator.

752.572 Introduction to Counselling 1 (30 credits)

Introduces you to the practice and skills of counselling. During WOT week there is a special emphasis on the development of your counselling skills.

752.573 Introduction to Counselling 2 (15 credits)

Continues your development of selected approaches for counselling practice and integrates these with practice skills developed in Introduction to Counselling 1.

752.575 Introduction to Human Development (15 credits)

This course introduces you to human development theories and concepts that underpin counselling practice.

752.576 Introduction to Psychology (15 credits)

Introduces you to a range of psychological theories, frameworks and concepts that underpin counselling practice and allow the development of a greater understanding of the social world in which you live.

752.577 Diversity and Sociological Principles (15 credits)

You will explore differences and sociological perspectives within the context of a New Zealand society. The effects of difference are examined at the level of personal and professional practice.

Level 6

661.605 Whakatupu: Development of Te Tiriti ō Waitangi in Practice (15 credits)

Building upon knowledge and skills acquired from Whakato.  You will continue to develop your own analysis of colonisation and how the process impacted on Māori society.

752.659 Working with Children and Young People (15 credits)

In this course, you will develop a cooperative learning environment in which you practice and develop your skills and knowledge in working with children and young people.

752.662 Addiction and Mental Health (15 credits)

You will develop an understanding of theory and practice for using interventions with addiction issues.

752.663 Working with Trauma (15 credits)

This course explores the effects trauma has on peoples' development in relation to their psyche, body, relationships, work and spirituality.

763.614 Counselling Theory and Practice A (40 practical hours) (15 credits)

You will demonstrate integration of theory to practice for initial stages of counselling practice. Includes 40 hours of Practicum.

763.615 Counselling Theory and Practice B (60 practical hours) (15 credits)

You will demonstrate integration of theory to practice for all stages of counselling practice. Includes 60 hours of Practicum.

763.616 Creative and Expressive Approaches to Counselling (15 credits)

In this course, you explore the theoretical basis and practical activities for the use of expressive therapies in counselling in an integrative approach which draws from creative arts therapies, including use of art, music, movement, therapeutic writing and symbols.

763.617 Counselling Interventions in Practice (15 credits)

You will develop an understanding of theory and practice in relation to using interventions.

Level 7

661.703 Whakatinana: Implementing Te Tiriti ō Waitangi based Practice (15 credits)

This course consolidates previous Te Tiriti o Waitangi based courses learnt in the Bachelor of Applied Counselling and teaches you how to apply treaty-based practice approaches to counselling practice.

752.712 Presentation and Review of Counselling Practice (50 practical hours) (15 credits)

You will develop and synthesise integration of theory, practice and self-awareness into your counselling practice.

752.713 Development of Counselling Practice (50 practical hours) (30 credits)

You will develop and synthesise reflective practice in relation to counselling work.

752.714 Working with Relationships/Families/Whānau (15 credits)

This course will introduce you to theory and practical skills for working with couples and families/whānau.

762.705 Social Research (15 credits)

This course will assist you to undertake small research projects.

763.712 Developing Issues Focused Practice (30 credits)

You will develop an in-depth understanding and skills for working with some key issues that you are likely to encounter in practice.

Do you want to study a single course, without enrolling into the full programme?

Courses within some of our programmes may be offered as an individual Certificate of Proficiency (COP). Programme entry requirements and course fees apply. For more information, please speak to our friendly Ask Me! team.

Careers and pathways

Career opportunities

Counselling individuals, families and groups in the community.

Counsellors may have clients in mental health services, aged care, child protection, disability services, schools, prisons, hospitals, religious groups and in any other relevant community service. For potential salaries visit careers.govt.nz.

Free study for the first year of your Level 3 or above qualification may be available under the government’s fees-free study scheme. Visit feesfree.govt.nz for eligibility criteria and more information. Students must be eligible to study as a domestic student. All free study is subject to funding confirmation. Proof of residency status required. Entry criteria, and some costs, may also apply. Eligibility for student allowances or student loans may vary. Contact StudyLink for more information.

Information is correct as at 6 May 2024. Programme fees are based on a full-time student and may vary depending on your final selection of courses that make up your programme. To provide you with an indication of costs, the approximate fees quoted in this publication are based on the indicative 2024 fee structure. The indicative programme fees for 2024 do not include the Compulsory Student Services Fee (CSSF). The CSSF is an additional levy to your 2024 programme or course fees. Further information about the CSSF can be found here www.manukau.ac.nz/cssf. Programmes stated as eligible for free study in 2024 are based on the 2023 fee structure and subject to funding confirmation for 2024. All fees are in New Zealand Dollars. You will be advised of the current fees at the time of enrolment. All courses and programmes will proceed subject to numbers and academic approval. Manukau Institute of Technology is part of Te Pūkenga – New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology. Te Pūkenga is accredited under the provisions of the Education and Training Act 2020. International students must study in class and will not be able to enrol for online study options.